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12-Month Funding Policy for Rackham Ph.D. Students

In recognition of the expectation that Ph.D. students make 12-month academic progress, Rackham Graduate School has been working for several years to increase the availability of spring/summer support for Ph.D. students. In March 2023, Rackham announced a new funding model wherein all Rackham Ph.D. students on the Ann Arbor campus will receive 12 months of stipend support for the duration of their funding packages beginning in academic year (AY) 2023–24. This decision represents an additional investment by the university in the Ph.D. funding system and in the excellence of its Ph.D. programs.

General Implementation

  • This new funding is meant to supplement and not replace graduate programs’ current means of providing spring and summer funding for their Ph.D. students.
  • This allocation is meant for students not previously fully funded during the spring/summer previous to the implementation of this 12-month funding.
  • Rackham will disburse this new funding to programs through its annual block grant program. The allocation will increase annually in conjunction with Rackham’s normal annual block grant increase.
  • If they haven’t already, graduate programs need to create a distinct budget line (shortcode) for this new allocation to be transferred from Rackham.
  • Departments will need to report on usage (e.g., students receiving funding) of the funding and any justification for carryforward at the end of the academic year through Rackham’s block grant reporting process. Units will need to communicate to Rackham if allocations are insufficient to supplement their existing Ph.D. funding.
  • This new allocation is provided to support spring and summer Ph.D. stipends. Any carryforward can only be used for that purpose exclusively.

Student Eligibility

  • Ph.D. students on the Ann Arbor campus who are in good academic standing and within the period of their offer letter of admission, including international students, are eligible for this new funding.
  • Home departments are responsible for ensuring that students in joint programs receive the minimum stipend level.
  • Students who are beyond their original offer letter date are not eligible for this new allocation. Programs will need to determine other existing sources of funding if they wish to provide those students with stipends (GSI, GSRA, faculty awards, etc.).
    • Exception: Through June 2026, students who are in their final spring/summer following the last academic year covered in their offer letter are eligible to receive this allocation if they are still currently enrolled and actively pursuing a degree. For example, a student with an offer letter date ending June 2024 would be eligible to receive this allocation in spring/summer 2024 if they are still completing their degree and in good academic standing.
  • Students returning from a Leave of Absence (LOA) in the spring/summer are eligible

for this funding if they have returned to an expectation of normal academic progress.

Additional Funding in Excess of Stipend

  • This allocation cannot be used to provide additional funding to students in excess of the minimum stipend level.
    • For example, if graduate programs allow funding in addition to the minimum stipend for external work or activities (instruction, workshops, employment), this allocation can not be used for that additional funding.
  • Maximum stipend levels for graduate students are, and will continue to be, determined at the school/college level.

Timeline for Implementation

Now Through March 2024

Consultation Process: Combination of Rackham office hours with associate and assistant deans, and working with Rackham’s senior administrative director to help programs work through offer letters, allocations, etc.

March 2024

Deadline to finalize and confirm projected allocation amounts for AY 2024–25. Most programs will get preliminary allocation numbers before March 2024.